My mother’s mother, Vivian Rose Fazzone Jones, passed away from Alzheimer’s on Saturday morning. She was ninety. Nanna was a huge part of my life. I was lucky enough to live my entire life in the same town she lived in. Back when I was a kid, we all lived in New Jersey. She and her “handsome husband”, my Poppy, gave my parents some of their land here in South Carolina to build a house on, and that is why my family and I live here in South Carolina.
I will continue to miss her. I’ve been missing her for a very, very long time. Some you love loses themselves to Alzheimer’s, you spend your time in this weird, angry twilight of mourning that goes on for years. So I’m glad her suffering is over. But I am not glad she is gone. And I’m not glad she and all the rest of us got so profoundly cheated.
It’s just been kind of a rough year and I’m rambling. I guess I was not as ready for all this as I thought I was.
My Nanna was creative and fun, and she was an amazing cook. She loved us children, and she helped raise my sister and I. I would not be the same person had she not been in my life. And I thank her for the gift of herself, not just to me but for the entire family.
She was the last survivor of an enormous Italian family, and she was never quite the same after her beloved husband passed away. How happy she must have been to see them all again, and I have no doubt that she is with them all now. My cousin had a dream Friday night, before he knew anything was up, that all her family was sitting together, waiting for something. Sometimes the veil is thin and you can see through it a little.
My six year old said she knew Nanna was nearby. She said she could smell her. I believe her. That sweet essence will always be part of our lives.
Nanna, I love you. I won’t forget. And I know you won’t, either.